Craving for a steamy bowl of hot noodle soup? This Beef Udon, my-go-to Japanese comfort dish is absolutely heart-warming. Tender sliced beef on top of slippery warm udon noodle in a savory broth. What’s not to love?
When we visited Takayama in Japan this past summer, we enjoyed this warm Beef Udon Noodle Soup with Hida beef. This comfort dish is made of warm udon noodles in a savory hot soup, topped with thinly sliced beef seasoned and stir-fried. Today we’re going to recreate this Beef Udon recipe back in our own kitchen.
Watch How To Make Beef Udon
Beef udon (Niku Udon) is a Japanese comfort dish made of tender sliced beef seasoned and stir fried on top of warm udon noodle in a savory dashi broth.
Despite its simplicity, this beef udon recipe is packed with tons of flavors! The savory dashi broth, well-seasoned beef, caramelized scallion, and chewy smooth noodles – that’s all you really need for a well-composed bowl of noodle soup.
The best part of this recipe (besides it is so delicious!!!) is how easy it is to make at home. We use only basic condiments in most Japanese cooking – soy sauce, mirin, sake – and udon noodles. You can find these condiments at Japanese or Asian grocery stores (and some American grocery stores).
Tips for Making Delicious Beef Udon
1. Use Japanese Soup Stock ‘Dashi’ To Make Your Broth for Beef Udon
For the most flavorful broth for your udon, you will need to make Japanese soup stock known as dashi to complete this dish. I have a complete guide on how to make dashi at home. The easiest way is to make a big batch so you can use your homemade dashi for this udon soup recipe. The broth will taste much better and you would want to drink up the entire beef udon soup!
This is the ultimate guide to Dashi, Japanese soup stock. You’ll learn about the different types of dashi, the ingredients, and how each stock is used in Japanese cooking.
If dashi sounds foreign to you, don’t feel intimidated. You can always take a short cut and use dashi powder or dashi packet instead (which takes 5 minutes. See how we use it). Dashi is much easier to make compared to vegetable or chicken/beef stock and it takes less than 30 minutes to make the broth from scratch.
2. Fresh Udon for Best Texture
Since it’s such a simple dish, fresh udon would taste the best for the noodle soup. But I know fresh udon is not always easily accessible. The second option would be the frozen type. You can find them available at Japanese and many Asian grocery stores, and sometimes at American grocery stores if you are lucky. Other, dried noodles would work fine.
Wish to learn more about Udon Noodles? Click here.
Hungry for More Udon Noodle Recipes?
Don’t miss out on these delicious recipes with udon noodles:
- Yaki Udon (Stir-Fried Udon Noodle)
- Curry Udon
- Nabeyaki Udon (Hot Pot Style Udon Noodle Served in Donabe)
- Kitsune Udon
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- ½-1 Tbsp sugar
- Gather all the ingredients.
- In a small saucepan, add 2 cups (480 ml) dashi and 1 tsp sugar.
- Add 1 Tbsp mirin and 1 Tbsp soy sauce and bring it to a boil.
- Taste the soup and adjust the taste with Kosher salt as it will enhance the flavor without adding additional sugar or soy sauce. Cover and keep it on low heat.
- Cut the Tokyo negi (or use sub) and Narutomaki (fish cake) diagonally.
- Cut the Mitsuba (optional) into small pieces and thinly slice one onion/scallion (used for topping).
- Cut the thinly sliced meat into bite size pieces.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil for udon noodles. My favorite udon is the frozen Sanuki Udon. Cook the frozen udon noodles in boiling water for 1 minute (no need to defrost). If you use dry noodles, follow the package instructions.
- Once the udon is done cooking, drain water and transfer to serving bowls.
- While cooking udon, you can start heating the large frying pan. Once it’s heated, add 1 Tbsp vegetable oil and cook the negi until tender.
- Add the meat and brown all sides. Don’t move the meat around until it’s nicely seared.
- Once the meat is nicely browned, add ½ to 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp soy sauce. When the sauce has caramelized and slightly thicken, turn off the heat.
- By this time, the noodle should be in the serving bowls. Pour the hot soup over the udon noodles in the bowls. Then serve the meat on top of the udon noodles.
- Place the narutomaki (fish cake) and garnish with scallion and mitsuba. If you like it spicy, sprinkle shichimi togarashi. Enjoy!
- You can keep the beef and negi mixture and noodle soup separately in airtight containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.